The rate of Black players in the major leagues has dwindled from a high of around 19 percent in the early 1980s to about 8 percent now. This season, there are only two Black American managers — Dusty Baker of the Houston Astros and Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers — and just one overseeing a baseball operations department — Kenny Williams of the Chicago White Sox.
The idea for the Players Alliance came last summer when Cameron Maybin, a veteran outfielder now in the Mets organization, saw a video of N.F.L. players saying, “Black lives matter,” and listing victims of police brutality, including Floyd. (The majority of players in the N.F.L. are Black.)
Realizing that little had been said within baseball on the same topics, Maybin reached out to other Black players and, soon, they formed a group where they could talk and organize charitable efforts. The former M.L.B. stars Curtis Granderson, C.C. Sabathia and Edwin Jackson lead the nonprofit.
The group began a mentoring program for newly drafted Black players. They held clinics and donated equipment throughout the country. They raised money during the annual Jackie Robinson Day. They spoke with Manfred when he asked about the 2021 All-Star Game, which was originally supposed to be held in Atlanta but he moved the festivities to Denver because of Georgia voting laws that critics viewed as discriminatory.